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All comments by Allan Bloom
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If you want to add to your master point total, for value OK Bridge is the winner hands down at $150 per year. Master point tournaments begin at 6:30 a.m. pst and continue until 8:00 p.m. pst with a half hour break between tournaments. C class 500 or less mps, B between 500 and 2000 mps and A over 2000 mps provides a basis for competition. I am unaware of the benefits of BBO if you are are interested in only mps. Yes, there are more top players on BBO but it costs a lot more to obtain master points than OK Bridge.
Jan. 23, 2015
Allan Bloom edited this comment Jan. 26, 2015
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Yes, lets the opponents bid 2 clubs with impunity.
April 22, 2014
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lebensohl and mud by the time u bid in lebensohl the auction has passed you be and mud is mostly a guess by pard
April 22, 2014
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For most mortals stamina diminishes as we age. Whatever can be done to complete 2 sessions of bridge would be appreciated. For seniors such as myself, I would welcome additional time to relax and rest.
March 25, 2014
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Unfortunately, the Article heading was misleading. It is directed to seniors who enjoy bridge and are not world class players but who would appreciate a schedule that is more reflective of their desire for a condensed schedule.
March 24, 2014
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Jonathan, please tell us ‘who’ is ‘who’ told Warren the parameters of that told Warren the event would be “top class” withoust any additional funding from money bags Warren. Part of Warren's stickla is that he lives a modest life in a cozy house drinking Cherry cokes while eating a steak at a neighborhood restaurant followed by See's candy and an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen. Obviously, he has exceptional financial acumen in the acquistion game which I truly respect and admire. Justify to write a check every few years? It would be chump change for him to underwrite and endow the tournament on a continuing basis. After all please consider the bridge pros have to make a living. Your proposal to limit the participants to 17 and under makes me laugh. How many would watch? Can you name 15 and 16 years (or younger) worthy of following in a match? How would these teens fund transportation to the tournament or maybe bike there on their own? Would they have to be accompanied by their parents or would you provide chaperones? Would it interfere with their school? Would any person volunteer to be a vu-graph operator or commentator? You are in the land of fantasy. Obviously, you identify with the under 17 crowd not only remove Buffet's name to the cup but maybe change the event to contest involving video games. I am not in the business of assumptions but I assure when Warren acquires a company he wants to know the long range plan including funding.
Sept. 15, 2012
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The gist of Justin and Jonathan is that no assumptions or inferemces were to be made from the fact that the event was to be held in Warren's “backyard”. Excuse me. Warren has contributed more than his share to promote bridge? Obviously, based upon's Warren's billions and being the second wealthiest person in the USA what is his share? Is it greater than a person who no longer plays bridge and maintains an ACBL membership with no charitable deduction? Who made the decision to name the trophy after Warren? Was there a vote? Now, Justin suggests I give up my day job and fly to Omaha and volunteer to be trained as a vugraph operator without payment for lodging expenses. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic. Even J Paul Getty in funding the Getty museun realized it was necessary to endow it sufficently to provide continuing operating expenses. Justin imo you are polyanish based upon the circumstances. Saying Warren i me 0 is just plain stupid. It obscures the fact that the perception is that Warren subsidzes the tournamennt. The Warren continues to benefit from the tournament in free advertising for his ventures. Should we pay homage to him for his charitable contribution (tax deductible) of a sliver of his fortune. Sure, he did not have to do anything but in my view of his assets it was not breathtaking to simply donate a tropy. f Meanwhile, he and his holdings (as well as his friends) continue to bask in favorable publcity. Jonathan, says my comments were “goofy”. However, how many readers (like myself) thought that Warren had contributed more to the event than the cost of the trophy? Of course, with Warren's ego which is well earned because of his business accumen he made sure the trophy was named after him. It was not an anoymous gift or had the class to have the trophy named after another such as Ira Corn who although not an outstanding bridge sponsored a team, including Robert Hammam, which brought success to the USA against the world champion Italians. Although Justin believes I am ill-informed I can see the forrest for the trees. Simply stated, Warren's ego wanted his name on the trophy and gave no consideration for the ongoing expenses of the tournament. I ask who is naive about the situation. Warren in his folksy style had pulled the wool over the critics of my post.






Sept. 15, 2012
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Warren Buffett was the real winner. Paying for the trophy gave him the publicity for companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway for free advertisements. I was deceived to believe that good old Warren was footing the bill for the tournament and the myriad expenses. After all it was held in Omaha and gave the impression it was held in Omaha as a concession to Warren for “sponsoring” the event. What a hoot!
Donating the trophy permitted Warren to appear as a real benefactor to the game of bridge. Nothing could be farther than the truth. How many persons were duped as the true facts were revealed? Warren has pulled a fast one. Whose idea was it to have Warren involved without being a major financial contributor? There are certainly numerous persons who have made genuine contributions to bridge who are entitled to have the honor of a bridge trophy named after them. Warren is not deserving of such an honor. The bridge was presented in a second rate fashion and not deserving of another Buffett cup which is only honors Warren. What a con job!
Sept. 14, 2012
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Are there any disadvantages to bidding up the line? It is easy to follow and avoids confusion.
July 9, 2012
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The club game will continue to decline as will the sectionals. The club games and sectionals are populated with senior citizens who grew up playing at club games and sectionals. However, as the days go by there are hardly any replacements for the existing players at club games and sectionals. Computer online will be a bigger force as many players can hardly have enough time in the day for anything but an hour game. The ACBL will be brought kicking and screaming into the computer world. I can forsee major tournaments becoming conducted on the internet with no need for travel. The mechanics are there for audio-visual bridge and the viewing audience will increase. Regionals and Nationals will have greater attendance because they will be destination vacations and people like the action of a large crowd and interaction causing excitement. Robot bridge will diminish and masterpoints will be eliminated for playing with and against robots. The novelty will wear off and masterpoints will only be issued in human contests. Masterpoints should never be authorized for robot play.
Oct. 14, 2011
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Leo, do not hurt yourself patting your back. Frankly, you are playing into the ACBL Board hands because master points playing against robots is ludicrous. Why the ACBL sanctions it is ludicrous. Next, master points will be awarded for playing Jack Bridge.
Oct. 13, 2011
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Times have changed. Online bridge is an option that did not exist in years past. It does compete with club games and at best the total of tables at club games is stagnating and in my observation decreasing. online bridge is growing in spite of the hurdles placed upon it by the ACBL. Computing teaching programs abound and are wonderful for learning. Fred, you are too kind to the ACBL. It is an organization mired in the past and discriminates against the online bridge player with a holier than thou attitude demaning accomplishments of the online bridge player.
Oct. 12, 2011
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If you are seeking a rational explanation to having online points being second or a lesser class for limiting online points for rank advancement, etc., there is none. It is arbitrary and not well thought out. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Without online bridge there will be less bridge players in a tournament setting. Get used to it, mostly clubs are a dying breed and no longer are they the place in town to play bridge. In fact, players who on occasion participate in tournaments and even club games would lose interest if online bridge is limited. Obviously, the ACBL directors are seldom online playing bridge and do not understand the reality of the situation. Without online bridge, overall ACBL participation would diminish. As a business, the ACBL must not (but it is) discriminating against the online machine that feeds its coffers. Of course, it is laughable but sad.
Oct. 12, 2011
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Maybe Fred or Randy can explain the rationale of online points sanctioned by the ACBL being counted at tournaments for classification but not for ranking. Is there any logic for this distinction?
Oct. 11, 2011
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The reality is that club games have diminshed in popularity. For example, in days gone by Paul Larsons Bridge Club in Culver City for night games would often have 2 full sections, plus a junior game. Section A was the section for the better players. They were regularly attended by pros and amateurs alike and it was exciting to play in the A section against such pairs as Soloway and Swanson amongst others. In fact, I remeber one Monday evening playing against Paul Soloway and Rhoda Walsh when Soloway had returned from a world championship match concluding on Sunday. Rarely, do you have the opportunity to watch great pros playing with each other at a club game. Now, there are relatively few night games in the Los Angeles area. Times have changed. Now, we have online bridge where many attende rather than go to the clubs. Even tournaments have regressed. Now, at the Sunday swiss teams you are not given sufficient time to eat lunch. It is a play through with a small break to eat a sandwich. Not much fun. The ACBL has not come to grips with the changing times. Fred Gittleman says he rarely attends anything but the Nationals. Many pros limit themselves to the Nationals and favorite regionals. There is concern with cheating online but in my opinion it is overblown. Does cheating exist at the tournaments? Many believe so and there have been numerous scandals. The ACBL is burying its head in the sand when it comes to online bridge. It will not go away. The ACBL gives short shrift to online bridge and fails to promote or orchestrate lessons on it. For goodness sakes, the ACBL has to wake up. Club games are not increasing and it is necessary for the ACBL to change direction.
Oct. 9, 2011
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Clubs used to be the only game in town. I credit Randy with being innovative to attract attendance at the bridge club. Sadly, he is in the minority. Now, many clubs are relegated to sparse attendance and few night games. Times have changed but the ACBL has not. Of course, we have electronic recording of points instead of paper slips to be mailed in to the ACBL? However, the ACBL has not moved into the forefront of change, or any change, to promote the game to the public. It has newer and stiff competiton from other activities, such as online poker, electronic games and streaming video. Where are the new ideas to promote bridge from the ACBL? Online bridge can be the savior and should not be treated as a step-child (no offense to step-children). What is the rationale for the ACBL policy that online points cannot be used for rank changes? Of course, colored points can be a requirement but in my view many lose interest in the game because of the arbitrary policies of the ACBL in online points classifications for rank changes. When you go to a tournament they do not differentiate between between in person or online points, only the total of points are considered for classification. Where are the forward thinking persons in the ACBL? The ACBL should embrace online bridge and not discriminate as to points earned online or at clubs or tournaments. By doing so, it is demeaning to online bridge players and making appear playing online is nothing more than exercise and practice. Certainly, online bridge is stimulating and challenging but the ACBL holds up its nose at it.
Oct. 7, 2011
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The ACBL has a dinosaur mentality. On line bridge is giving short shrift and treated like a poor relative. The club game is dead. During the work week only the retired can spend a half day at a bridge club. Night games are relatively few and attendance is down. Tournament attendance is not increasing. The ACBL is mired in the past as if online bridge is of a lesser quality than the club game. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Obviously, there is nothing wrong in requiring face to face competion to qualify as a life master using various colored master points. After that there should be a level playing field between on line play and in person play for ranking and master points games. That being said, playing against a robot should not qualify for master point awards. What is the rational for treating on line play as if it is inferior to playing in person. Is the rational rewarding the time and effort to play in person and the added revenue to the ACBL? The same persons who play on line play at tournaments yet on line results are treated as inferior.
Oct. 5, 2011
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Just a great thread (excpt for the purported comedians). Although I have read books on counting, do you have any advice on perfecting the techinque. Thanks and keep up the good work. It is appreciated. You are making bridge fun.
Aug. 26, 2011
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For the first time ever the Spingold finals were on the internet with voice commentatry. It was great!. Listening to Wald (terrific host) and Larry Cohen was extremely informative and added a dimension to the typed commentary. It provided great color to an exciting event. Cohen provided insights on his style of bidding and play. It was as if you were in a classroom. Plus, Cohen provided many of the goings on in the bridge world which were entertaining. Unfortunate, he did not continue in the evening session. However, John Swanson was added together with others who had trouble with their microphones. Apparently, voice commentary was first started during a Polish event and the Spingold was the second event with voice commentary. I noticed that the voice commentary was welcome by the response of the viewers (and listeners). What a great additon to the bridge world. After all, it is common place in television events. How boring would it be to watch Monday night football without commentators. A doff of the fedora to the commentators and BridgeBase for a great addition to bridge. The best news is that it will be a part of the tournament in the Netherlands. It should be noted that the commentators said it is easier to speak than write. Moreover, we had the benefit of both. Thanks to all who participated in this breakthrough.
Aug. 2, 2011
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The day club games are predominately attended by “retirees”. These retirees do not venture out at night. Therfore, attendance at night games is minimal. Most clubs only offer a smattering of night games. Working folks can only find an hour or two for bridge during on week days. Online bridge offers the opportunity to play bridge at convenient hours and the competition is stiff. It has replaced club games at a reduced cost and no need for driving. Club games will continue to diminish. After you pay the dues to accumulate the various colored points to become a LM, only the dedicated few play bridge at the clubs. Yes, I used to play at night at Paul's Bridge Club at Culver City. There was the honor to play in the “A” section rather that the B or even C section. They used to pass out master point slips and computers were not widely available. However, times have changed. No longer is the club game the only game in town. It has been replaced for the most part by online bridge. Cheatin is cheating. You can cheat online and at the club or tournament level. In either case, it is difficult to monitor effectively. Therefore, comparisons are useless. The convenience factor makes online bridge the overwhelming choice and it will only get bigger. The ACBL had better promote or it will cause defections from the playing ranks. Online competition is stiff and moreover it serves a wonderful purpose for many who are unable to attend club games or tournaments or are in remote places. For example, I was playing online bridge and my partner left the table and said she would be right back. However, she was not right back and I later learned that she had fallen out of her wheel chair and had to wait until assitance arrived. Thank goodness for online bridge that allows persons the privilege of not leaving home to enjoy themselves in competitive bridge. In my opinion online bridge should be upgraded from 1/3 to 1/2 of the points awarded toward ranking to encourage continued participation in being involved with bridge. After all, to me it is an issue of fairness.
July 18, 2011
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